Vegetables that don't mind the cold

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Inspecting the garden
Yup, the time has come. It's early October and the summer is really over.

The days are getting shorter and colder and most plants stop growing.

You can already see it in the garden. So, I've started cleaning up a bit, harvesting what's left.
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First round of tidying up
Just because you can't sow much now, doesn't mean you have to rip everything out of your garden boxes. Most vegetables can handle the first frosts.

Summer vegetables

Tomatoes and cucumbers need warm weather. As soon as it gets cold, they give up completely. You'll see it in the shriveled leaves.

If it's rained a lot, the tomatoes will burst and crack. Get rid of those guys. Pick the green tomatoes and put them on a sunny windowsill so they'll ripen off the vine.
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Tomatoes are better off in the greenhouse now
For greenhouse tomatoes, they can keep hanging a little longer. Those plants should be in better shape than your outdoor tomatoes. 

Still, we'll keep a close eye on the weather forecast. If it drops below 5°C at night, I'll pick them all and remove the plants.

The cucumbers are still doing well. The leaves are starting turn yellow, but there are still new cucumbers growing on the vine:
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New cucumbers coming in
The climbing zucchini are still going strong. Their flowers are blooming, even this late in the year. It seems like the zucchinis grow even faster now than in summer. So, we'll keep an eye on the plants every day.
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Mid-October: harvest lots and watch out for mildew
The plant may be doing great, but the leaves are deteriorating fast: lots of gray spots and mildew. It's no big deal. I'll leave it be for now.

And the baby pumpkins? They're looking gorgeous about now:
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Baby pumpkins hanging out on the trellis
Okay, well, the vine and the leaves look pretty bad, but the pumpkins are happy where they are. When the stems get hard and corky, they're ready to harvest.

Beans, beans, and more beans

The bean leaves are slowly turning brown and getting a little gross. But the beans hanging there are still growing and can be harvested in the coming weeks.
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Beautiful bacon beans
Even the butter beans sown late in the season will bring in a great harvest:
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Butter beans at the end of September

What should you harvest before it gets really cold?

Harvest lettuce and New Zealand spinach before it starts to freeze.
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New Zealand spinach
Also, most leafy herbs don't hold up well in the cold. Basil turns black really quickly.

Our kitchen is already full of mint. Dried leaves are just as delicious as fresh ones for making tea. 

Sage, thyme, rosemary, and oregano are also good for drying.
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Sage (left) and Mint (right)
Chives and parsley are best frozen. Chop them fine and add a few drops of water to make perfectly portioned herb 'ice cubes'. When you're cooking, just toss them directly in the pan. 
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Ice cubes made from parsley and chives

Which vegetables do well in cold weather?

You can leave your beets alone. They'll be fine.
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You can leave beets in the soil mix for a long time, no problem
Same goes for carrots. Beets and carrots get even sweeter after a night of frost.

Lettuce varieties like arugola, mibuna and mizuna can also handle the cold.

Those last 2 are part of our Asian salad mix:
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Young Asian salad mix
Got endive? Our endive is cold-resistant and can be left in your garden box for a long time. 

But keep an eye on these plants in rainy weather. Their leaves grow close together, so water can get stuck between them. That can lead to rot.
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Our endive

All winter long

A few vegetables can stay in your garden box the whole winter. You can keep harvesting or leave them alone and enjoy them again in early spring.

Dino kale handles the cold amazingly well. Its leaves become even tastier after a frost.

So, just leave your plants in place, even the small ones. As soon as the weather gets a little warmer next spring, they'll start growing again. You can harvest them quickly.
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You can eat dino kale and chard all winter long
Chard does well in cold too, unless there's a heavy frost. If the winter is mild, it'll keep growing.

Sugar snaps, snow peas, and winter peas

In August, I sowed sugar snaps and snow peas. Thanks to the warm fall, they grew great (more slowly than in spring, but still).
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Blooming peas in October
The plants are flowering and I already picked the first snow peas. As soon as it gets colder though, all their energy will be used to reproduce. So looks like no hug pod harvests.

But, if that's the case, no worries. The flowers and young tops are also tasty. Especially winter peas. They're the best type of pea for cold weather.

Just give your peas a little extra protection in the winter months. Use a crop cover like our MM-Muts. You'll be glad you did. 

What can you sow now?

Officially, the time to sow is pretty much over. The app still has a few options for you. Why not give it a shot?

Read here about everything you can sow in October

You definitely don't want to miss out on winter purslane: one of my favorite greens. Nice, right?
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Purslane in an MM-Mini grow bag
Winter purslane grows steadily all winter long. It can even take on some frost. If you cut some off it just grows back. It's the ideal plant for fresh greens in winter.

All your plants will do better in winter if you put our crop cover - the MM-Muts - over your garden box. The MM-Muts protects your plants and insulates them from the cold. 
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Our MM-Muts crop cover
And don't forget about garlic

Why not plant some spring bulbs while you're at it? By early spring you'll have a colorful garden again. 

Have fun in your fall Planty Garden!

 
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PS:

Want to start sowing? You can find all our seeds in the shop, including the kinds you can still sow now. 

There are dozens of varieties and they'll keep for years ðŸ™‚

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